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Woman suing Texas over abortion ban plans to move frozen embryos out of state after Alabama IVF ruling

Following Alabama’s IVF ruling, Amanda Zurawski said she doesn’t want her frozen embryos ‘in a state where a similar ruling could very likely take place’

Kelly Rissman
Friday 23 February 2024 21:54 GMT
Alabama couple who spent $50,000 on IVF speak out on controversial pause

A woman who is suing Texas after being denied an abortion in the state is now planning to move her frozen embryos, in light of Alabama’s ruling about in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments.

This week, the Alabama Supreme Court defined frozen embryos as unborn children in a shock ruling that prompted at least three clinics in the state to stop providing IVF treatments.

Amanda Zurawski told NBC News that, following Alabama’s ruling, she is fearful that Texas will follow suit – and so is seeking to move her frozen embryos out of the state.

Ms Zurawski, who almost died after being denied an abortion in Texas, said she doesn’t want her frozen embryos “in a state where a similar ruling could very likely take place.

She added: “Everything about IVF is very anxiety-inducing. It’s very scary. It’s very difficult and rulings like this one in Alabama are just adding another layer of fear and anxiety.”

She expressed fear that Alabama’s ruling — which the American Society of Reproductive Medicine described as a “medically and scientifically unfounded decision” — could lead to a “snowball effect” in other states.

Amanda Zurawski (AFP via Getty Images)

The process to remove her frozen embryos from Texas to another state is expensive, she said, adding that “ it’s not an option for everyone”.

Ms Zurawski declined to say where she is moving the embryos to, due to safety concerns for her and her family and “anyone who could be involved in our family planning”.

Ms Zurawski is not unfamiliar with governmental involvement in family planning, as she is the lead plaintiff in a landmark case — along with doctors and other women who have been denied abortions — which is asking the state to clarify medical exceptions for its extreme abortion ban.

In August 2022, at 18 weeks pregnant, doctors refused to provide the procedure, despite major complications in her pregnancy, because they could still detect foetal cardiac activity. Days later, she developed sepsis. Doctors then performed an emergency abortion, which landed her in the ICU for three more days.

The infection caused one of her fallopian tubes to permanently close. Her doctors advised against her trying to carry a baby again, so she has since pursued IVF treatments.

“It’s absolutely terrifying,” Ms Zurawski told NBC News. “But it’s also so infuriating because the same people who support the bans that nearly killed me are also in the same camp, who are now trying to make it harder for people like me to have a family.”

Ms Zurawski previously testified before Congress, calling out her two state Senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, saying: “I nearly died on their watch.” The two lawmakers were not in the room to hear her testimony.

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